In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina…
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Members of Congress Stand Up for Property Rights

In rare but refreshing bipartisan good news out of Congress, Senator Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina) and Representatives Ben Cline (R - Virginia), Theodore Deutch (D - Florida), Martha Roby (R - Alabama) and Harley Rouda (D – California) have just taken a firm stand protecting property rights – copyrights specifically – and merit our praise.

As we’ve long highlighted, property rights constitute a central pillar of “American Exceptionalism,” and that includes intellectual property (IP) rights – copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.   Our Founding Fathers considered IP so important that they deliberately and explicitly singled it out for protection in the text of the Constitution.  As a direct result, we’ve become the most innovative and prosperous nation…[more]

December 06, 2019 • 02:15 pm

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Home Press Room CFIF Supports Video Marketplace Reform Bill Introduced by Congressman Steve Scalise
CFIF Supports Video Marketplace Reform Bill Introduced by Congressman Steve Scalise Print
Monday, July 23 2018

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, Congressman Steve Scalise (R - Louisiana) introduced "The Next Generation Television Marketplace Act," which would reform America's obsolete and stifling video marketplace laws. In response, Center for Individual Freedom ("CFIF") Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs Timothy Lee issued the following statement: 

"On behalf of over 300,000 supporters and activists across the nation, CFIF enthusiastically supports the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act, which would reduce federal government interference in the U.S. video marketplace, and allow negotiations between broadcasters and video programming distributors to occur in more of a free market environment.  Current laws, enacted all the way back in 1992, allow the federal government to pick winners and losers by tipping the scales in negotiations that the government has no business distorting. 

"Those rules governing retransmission consent, 'must-carry' obligations and compulsory copyright were created in a bygone era when most television markets were served by a single monopoly cable provider.  Nearly three long decades later, the video market is a very different place.  Today, such alternatives as satellite, internet and alternative cable providers offer a wide array of consumer choices.  Unfortunately, however, federal regulations remain unchanged and don't reflect the tectonic shifts that have occurred in the video market.  What that means is that broadcasters enjoy a bureaucratic advantage during negotiations, which in turn allows them to extract exorbitant retransmission consent fees while retaining the option of invoking must-carry laws.  That prevents the free market from properly functioning in this ever-changing consumer arena, and consumers pay the price. 

"The solution is therefore to remove the federal bureaucracy's finger from the scale, and allow all parties to negotiate in a free market in which neither side enjoys an improper government advantage.  The Next Generation Television Marketplace Act helps accomplish that end by eliminating the outdated retransmission consent scheme, the must-carry obligation and compulsory copyright license and arbitrary broadcast ownership limits in order to let free market cooperation work.  We at CFIF therefore applaud Rep. Scalise's leadership, and urge Congress to pass the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act at long last." 

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